Noob question about composite glyphs

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PJMiller
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Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by PJMiller » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:03 pm

When I place two glyphs together as a composite and they overlap this comes up as an error when I validate the font (for example characters with a cedilla or ogonek). Is this correct?

I believe that overlapping glyphs forming a composite is not supposed to be an error, most fonts do it and it seems to cause no problems when rendering.

Could someone give me some guidance on this?

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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:47 pm

Select All, and use Get Union of Contours to combine them.
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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by Erwin Denissen » Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:54 pm

I think in general it won't harm, but most of the time people accidentally overlap composite glyph members.
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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by PJMiller » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:37 pm

Ogonek and Cedilla accents are meant to be overlapped. Ovelapping contours is bad for simple glyphs but for composites does it matter if the contours from different components of the composite overlap?

Yes I could combine the two components of the composite, make it into a simple glyph and then do a union but this would increase the size of the font.

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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by Erwin Denissen » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:08 pm

PJMiller wrote:Ogonek and Cedilla accents are meant to be overlapped. Ovelapping contours is bad for simple glyphs but for composites does it matter if the contours from different components of the composite overlap?
I think it is just fine, just don't overlap two contour with an opposite direction.
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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by PJMiller » Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:35 pm

I have just looked at 'Times New Roman' in Font Creator, just out of curiosity. It has hundreds (quite literally > 250) overlapping composites. This is one of the most used fonts under windows, if overlapping composites caused problems wouldn't someone have noticed by now?

Overlapping composites must be OK despite being regarded as an error by Font Creator font validation!

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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:23 am

Overlapping contours will cause errors if there are also incorrect directions
Rendering Error.png
Rendering Error.png (18.82 KiB) Viewed 2547 times
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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by PJMiller » Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:32 am

I understand that it will cause errors if they are the wrong direction but if they are the correct direction I assume that they will not cause an error but Font Creator flags overlapping contours in composite glyphs as an error regardless of the directions.

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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by Erwin Denissen » Fri Nov 13, 2015 8:05 am

PJMiller wrote:I understand that it will cause errors if they are the wrong direction but if they are the correct direction I assume that they will not cause an error but Font Creator flags overlapping contours in composite glyphs as an error regardless of the directions.
As mentioned in the manual:

Not every problem should be classified as an error, it is the designer's decision to correct or ignore potential problems.

Overlapping composite glyph members are usually not causing problems, so feel free to ignore these warnings/errors.
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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by PJMiller » Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:35 pm

Erwin Denissen wrote:
PJMiller wrote:I understand that it will cause errors if they are the wrong direction but if they are the correct direction I assume that they will not cause an error but Font Creator flags overlapping contours in composite glyphs as an error regardless of the directions.
As mentioned in the manual:

Not every problem should be classified as an error, it is the designer's decision to correct or ignore potential problems.

Overlapping composite glyph members are usually not causing problems, so feel free to ignore these warnings/errors.
It would be nice if the Font->Validate dialog box had seperate tick boxes for overlapping contours in simple glyphs and in composite glyphs.

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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:47 pm

PJMiller wrote:I have just looked at 'Times New Roman' in Font Creator, just out of curiosity. It has hundreds (quite literally > 250) overlapping composites.
I took a look at a ogonek in Time New Roman, and in my opinion the designers were just too lazy to do the job properly. The outline would be better if the accent formed part of the glyph shape, instead of looking like something stuck on as an after-thought.

Left is the original, and right is how I would do it.
a Ogonek.png
a Ogonek.png (7.46 KiB) Viewed 2531 times
Lowercase u ogonek looks positively sloppy:
u ogonek.png
u ogonek.png (2.92 KiB) Viewed 2530 times
However, in the case of Uhorn and uhorn they did a neat job by combining the curves with a smooth join, though I am not sure why they left the off-curve extremes.
Uhorn.png
Uhorn.png (2.72 KiB) Viewed 2530 times
C Cedilla may be OK without any extra work required. The increase in font size by making a few composites simple is negligible, but leaving them as composites makes sense if you have not yet finalised the design of the base glyphs or the accents — it makes a lot more work if you combine the components too soon. I often have to repeat the Get Union of Contours process if I find a glitch in my fonts later
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Re: Noob question about composite glyphs

Post by PJMiller » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:34 am

I have been combining the glyphs too soon because I was under the misconception that overlapping composite contours was an error, but I have been trying to join them so that they look as if they were always meant to be part of the glyph. Yes it does make for more work, I am in the process of re-designing some of the lower case italics in Kelvinch and having to find all the glyphs where they were used.

I do agree that some of the combinations in Times New Roman look a bit amateurish.

If I could start the font again I would not repeat the multitude of mistakes I made with Kelvinch, hopefully the final font will not reflect it's early mess.

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